Health

Dire situation at Ngomahuru as hunger takes its toll 

…no drugs for inmates

RUTENDO CHIRUME

MASVINGO- Ngomahuru mental health hospital is in a dire situation as it has run out of essential drugs and food rations for inmates, while donors who used to assist the crucial institution with provisions have dried up.

The situation is so dire such that inmates are only having one meal per day yet they take medication which requires a lot of food and some of the drugs have run out, putting the lives of care givers at risk as some patients may turn violent if they fail to get their tablets in time.

An informant who just visited his relative there toldThe Midweek Watch that the inmates were in need of food and critical medication.

“Please make the public aware of the situation at Ngamahuru Hospital, its no longer tenable as the institution has run out of medication and food.

“I talked to the employees and they told me that they are running the place from hand to mouth and most of the donors who used to give a hand have not been forthcoming due to various reasons among the tanking economy and drought that hit the country this cropping season,” said the informant on condition of anonymity while pleading with the media to publicise the plight of the hospital.

Ngomahuru is one of the few mental hospitals in the country located some 52km outside of Masvingo City along the BeitBridge Road, and has a carrying capacity of 150 patients.

 An insider working at Ngomahuru Hospital who requested anonymity said the situation has reached alarming levels with the institution now left with one week supply of food for both inmates and staff.

The source added that inmates are currently being fed one meal a day.

 “The situation is very scary, the inmates are the most affected with barely no food for them to eat in the coming three days.

“There is no food anymore and the situation calls for urgent attention, if nothing is done this week then I do not know what will become of the patients.

“They are surviving on one meal a day which is not properly cooked because there are no resources to come up with balanced meal.

“The responsible authorities need to take action because if nothing is done on time, we will be saying a different issue for the patients,” said the source.

The medical superintendent at Ngomahuru, Dr Parirenyatwa Maramba however, said the situation is still under control except the patients are not having a balanced diet due to shortages of provisions.

Dr Maramba called upon well wishers come to the institution’s rescue and urged family members with admitted patients to visit their relatives at the hospital with supplementary food.

“The situation is still under control, but since the whole country has been affected by drought, we are no exception.

“What is most disturbing is that the inmates are failing to have a balanced diet because the resources are not permitting.

“The currency switch had an effect as well as we experienced a break in suppliers.

“Well wishers are welcome to donate but we would want to urge those who have their admitted family members to visit their relatives with food and buy them medication as it is short supply,” he said

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